Darcie Connell is a Mountain View native turned world traveler and blogger. As graduate of San Jose State University, she founded Trekity.com, a daily newsletter for women who love travel, and TravelBloggerAcademy.com. After traveling for the past 12 years, Darcie is returning home to harass friends and family and ride The Grizzly at Great America (or whatever it's called these days). She co-wrote Business In A Backpack and you can follow her travel adventures on Twitter.
Dear Mountain View,
I've always been attracted to brains so it's no surprise I fell in love with you, one of the smartest cities in the world. Silicon Valley giants like Nasa Ames Research Center, Symantec, Aol and Microsoft call you home, but no one spoils you as much as Google, which gives Mountain View free WiFi.
Sure, you've got brains to spare. But you're so much more than that.
My parents shared stories about picking cherries illegally from orchards and riding horses down Interstate 280 when it was being built in the 1950s. When I was young, I would stare skyward as the Blue Angles soared over Moffett Federal Airfield. Later, my husband and I would ride our bicycles along Shoreline, admiring sea birds and views of the southern San Francisco Bay.
You've grown into a bustling concrete jungle -- with tech companies sprouting from old orchards. Where the most intelligent and talented people are imported from around the world to develop only the best technologies, birthing a cultural and economic melting pot of diversity.
Millionaires live next to blue collar workers, but you'd never know it. Instead, you're a proud mix of granola-chic with your Sunday Farmers' Market, featuring only the best locally grown produce, dairy and meats. Not to mention your delicious Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants lining downtown's Castro Street.
But that doesn't mean you've lost your wild side. Bars and restaurants play music for Stanford students trickling in from neighboring Palo Alto. Your Shoreline Amphitheater hosted over 20,000 screaming fans for shows by Madonna, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay and John Mellencamp.
I come home to you because I miss your gorgeous mountain views, long romantic walks at Shoreline, delicious Asian noodle houses, fresh brewed pints at the Tide House, rocking concerts and, yeah, free WIFI.
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